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Top five job interview tips for fresh graduates

The experts at Bayt.com offer their top five tips for graduates looking to ace interviews at GCC construction companies

Bayt.com offers its top five tips for graduate interviewees hoping to break into the GCC construction market.
Bayt.com offers its top five tips for graduate interviewees hoping to break into the GCC construction market.

Interviewing for construction jobs in the GCC can be a daunting process, especially for fresh graduates.

Even the smallest mistake could end your chances of securing your dream entry-level job.

However, with a little guidance, fresh graduates can give themselves as much chance of acing their interviews as seasoned professionals.

Below are Bayt.com’s top five job interview tips for graduates looking to secure their first position in the Middle East’s construction sector.

1. Dress the part
In the Middle East, just like anywhere else, the way you look plays a big part in making a first impression at a job interview.

Bayt.com studies have shown time and again that looking the part has a significant impact on the success of an interviewee. Our research revealed that the majority (76.4%) of professionals in the Middle East believe that a candidate’s physical appearance affects the employer’s hiring decision.

You don’t necessarily need to defy the norms; all you have to do is keep your prospective employer’s culture in mind while preparing for the interview.

2. Show up on time
Punctuality is one way of showing that you are serious about getting the job. With this in mind, it is vital to ensure that you reach your interview destination in time.

Choose the fastest means of transportation at your disposal, especially if your journey is likely to take longer than 30 minutes. Ideally, you should have a good idea of the interview location before you set out.

In all cases, be sure to add at least 20 minutes to your expected journey time to account for factors such as traffic jams. Also, have the company’s phone number handy in case you need to notify them of any delay.

According to the employers that participated in Bayt.com’s ‘What are the Hiring Practices in the Middle East and North Africa?’ poll, arriving late is one of the most common mistakes that job seekers make during the interview process.

3. Do your research
You need to spend a reasonable amount of time researching your prospective employer. Visit the company’s website or simply check the firm’s profile on leading job sites. Every detail matters, so make sure you read up on everything that could help you answer your interviewer’s questions more comprehensively.

For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position at a construction outfit, you must know about the company’s flagship projects or services. A quick overview of the firm’s competitors might also give you an edge over other candidates. Alternatively, if interviewing for a human resources position, research the local market’s labour laws, and read up on training and development issues.

4. Put your phone away
It’s a natural tendency to pull out your phone any time you have to wait: in line at the grocery store, during commercials, while you wait for the vending machine to dispense your snack, and so on.

However, if you’re waiting in the company’s reception area, don’t automatically default to your phone. Instead, take time to look over your CV and think through what you intend to convey during the interview. This way, when the interviewer makes his or her appearance, you won’t be caught off guard.

5. Make it about them, not you
Often, job candidates talk a lot about themselves without ever mentioning how they can add value to the company at which they are interviewing.

Try to cut down on using the word ‘I’ during your job interview, and focus more on the ‘you’. Ask intelligent questions to engage your interviewer, and show them how you can become a valuable member and asset for their company.

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Construction Week - Issue 725
Jan 19, 2019